Caroselli, Beachler & Coleman, L.L.C.

School district accused of misuse of asbestos funds

As companies, municipalities, school districts and other organizations across Pennsylvania update and renovate structures that were built 50, 100 or more years ago, there is one vital aspect of the process that they cannot ignore: asbestos. Because of its low cost and wide availability, asbestos was used in the construction and insulation of buildings throughout the country for many years. Now, if building owners or renovators do not take the appropriate precautions to remove those dangerous asbestos fibers, they could face thousands of dollars in fines for potentially putting workers and residents at risk of asbestos exposure.

However, taking the required steps to remove asbestos safely and effectively can be an expensive undertaking. As a result, asbestos removal and disposal is usually a large part of any renovation budget. But it is up to the remodeler to ensure that those funds are used as directed.

Recently, a school district has come under fire for either misplacing or misusing several thousand dollars that was supposed to go toward the removal of asbestos in one of the district's schools. The funds, which amounted to about $900,000 were received in a lawsuit settlement, and were earmarked specifically for the purpose of removing the asbestos.

The school district is now seeking an $8 million bond in order to start the process of rebuilding the school in question. But one school board member doesn't seem to think that the district deserves those funds. "If the district has received any amount of money for asbestos abatement, whether a small amount or a larger amount," he said, "the people of this district have a right to know about it."

Source: Northern Colorado Gazette, "District received funds for asbestos abatement, has no record where funds went," Jack Minor, Oct. 16, 2012

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Caroselli, Beachler & Coleman, L.L.C.
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Pittsburgh, PA 15222

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